She Leads High Conference

The annual She Leads High Conference is a one-day leadership event for young women and non-binary people in years 9 and 10.

This event aims to provide attendees with an understanding of the fundamentals of leadership and explores topics such as social and emotional development, peer relationships and pressures, self-esteem, and body image. Upon completion, attendees are empowered to start defining and developing their leadership pathway.

The event format includes interactive workshops, keynote speeches and a panel with young women who are leading in their communities.

On Friday, 30 October 2020, 100 girls and non-binary people in years 9 and 10 from high schools across Canberra came together to attend the 2020 She Leads High Conference. Held at the Kambri Cultural Centre at the Australian National University, the conference theme was Unstoppable, where students learned to find their voices and lead with authenticity. The students heard from inspirational young leaders and learned fundamental skills necessary to be a leader, including the three important selfs: self-confidence, self-awareness and self-care.

The speakers included Ciára Duggan and keynote Madeline Diamond, the 2020 ACT Young Australian of the Year. Panellists included Taylor Fitzgerald, Kat Reed, Kasey Dragisic and Tikarra Looke. There were also workshops by Angie Ford and members of our youth engagement team to round off an exciting day of discussion and activity on how to become Unstoppable.

Learn more about the 2020 She Leads High Conference:

The annual She Leads High Conference returned on 1 November 2019 and was held at the Ann Harding Conference Centre, in partnership with the University of Canberra.

The day followed the theme, Speak Up, which inspired students to learn key confidence-building skills from diverse young women leaders that would allow them to ignite their own leadership journeys.

Two workshops were run on the day, including Finding the Courage to Speak Up facilitated by Defence Force Recruiting, and B.R.A.V.E, hosted by YWCA Canberra’s Youth Engagement and Gender Specialist teams.

Speakers included Ciára Duggan and keynote Melissa Breen. Panellists included Sandra Elhelw Wright, Asha Clementi and Nicola Louise Barker. All speakers arranged their discussion points around how to Speak Up, and each attendee came away tips and tricks to build confidence, maintain self-care and form a leadership identity.

Lightbulb Improv facilitated an interactive and engaging activity to teach students how to respond under pressure, think creatively and communicate effectively.

Learn more about the 2019 She Leads High Conference:

The 2018 She Leads High Conference was held on 1 November 2018, bringing together 118 young women from 11 ACT and Canberra-region schools. This year, the conference was opened to surrounding rural schools and gained the participation of two rural NSW schools.

The theme of Be Bold encouraged students to identify the myriad of unique leadership types within the community, alongside working toward building their own leadership styles and identities.

Two workshops were run on the day, including Being Bold But Not Alone, facilitated by Defence Force Recruiting, and Positive Identities, hosted by YWCA Canberra’s Youth Engagement Team.

Speakers included MC Laura Campbell, keynotes Dhani Gilbert and Taylor Perrin. Speed networkers included Kavinya Welikala, Shibanni Dave, Vivian Chan, Morgan Marshall, Tahlia-Rose Vanissum, Esther Suh, Julia Faragher, Annie-Lea Rowley and Jazmeen Payne. All speakers arranged their talking points around how to Be Bold. Attendees came away with an understanding of how to build confidence, form a leadership identity and work together to empower one another.

Learn more about the 2018 She Leads High Conference:

The inaugural She Leads High Conference was held on 28 November 2017 at the Ann Harding Conference Centre, in partnership with the University of Canberra. The event brought together more than 80 young women from 12 ACT and Canberra-region schools.

The theme of the conference was Be Fearless and challenged the idea of what a leader may look like in order to assist students to build their own leadership identity to begin their unique leadership journeys

Students left the conference with an understanding that they can be a leader in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities, and the skillset to identify potential issues, the confidence to address them directly and the tools needed to overcome these issues.

Two workshops were run on the day, including Language for Empowerment, facilitated by Stella Schools, and Positive Identities, hosted by YWCA Canberra’s Youth Engagement Team.

Speakers included MC Laura Campbell, keynotes Francesca Maclean, Nipuni Wijewickrema, and Izzy Mudford. Speed networkers included Julia Faragher, Moira Cully, Sam Launt, Holly Vanderpol, Sophie Hope, Esther Suh, and Ciára Duggan. All speakers arranged their talking points around how to Be Fearless and each attendee came away with specific steps to take when they face failure and discovered new ways to succeed.

Learn more about the 2017 She Leads High Conference: